Russia to Boost Troops in West, Expanding Army to 1.5 Million People

Victor Berzkin/ZUMA (Fair Use)

Russia will create new commands near Europe as it expands its military to 1.5 million people amid deepening tensions with the US and its allies over the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.

New structures in the regions around Moscow, St. Petersburg and Karelia on the border with Finland will be created under the program, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told commanders Tuesday, saying the major changes will start this year and continue through 2026. In addition, he said, “self-sufficient” units will be set up on the Ukrainian territories that Russia has illegally annexed.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the military expansion came in response to the “proxy war” he claimed the US and its allies are waging against Russia in Ukraine, Interfax reported. Kyiv and its allies are fighting to fend off Russia’s invasion of its neighbor.

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